Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Position
More than 90% of JET Programme participants are employed as ALTs in Japanese Junior or Senior High Schools

The majority of JET Programme participants work as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs), assisting with English teaching in schools across Japan. As an ALT your role will be to ASSIST Japanese Teachers of English rather than lead classes on your own.

Typically, ALTs:

  • Team-teach, or help with classes taught by Japanese Teachers of English (JTEs).
  • Assist in the preparation of teaching materials.
  • Participate in extra-curricular activities with pupils.
  • Assist with the English language training of JTEs.
  • Are employed by a school or Board of Education and often visit more than one school in the area to which they are assigned.

However, the exact nature of the ALT position can depend on numerous factors such as the number of schools visited, frequency of visits and the differing approaches of JTEs.

No two situations are the same and therefore a flexible attitude is essential.

Japanese school children begin formally studying English at the age of 10 in their fifth year of Elementary School and continue to do so throughout Junior High School. At 15 years of age, 95% of students progress to Senior High School and the vast majority continue to study English there for another three years.


English teaching in Japan has traditionally focused more on reading and writing skills than on oral communication. Even at Senior High School level, students' spoken English is generally quite basic.

As an ALT, you will play a key role in promoting communicative training in the classroom. Contact with an ALT also provides your students with a valuable chance to become familiar with another culture.


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